Voter Survival Guide

Early vote returns bring good news for Trump in Iowa and Ohio, Clinton in Nevada

Welcome to McClatchy’s Voter Survival Guide, an interactive presentation of daily events from one of the strangest presidential campaigns in modern history.

Early voting wraps up today in a few remaining states, but the early returns show nearly 42 million Americans have already cast a ballot for president.

The numbers are good news for Donald Trump in Iowa and Ohio, where traditionally Democratic-leaning areas near Cleveland are turning out less and traditionally conservative areas in Iowa are turning out at a higher rate.

But Hillary Clinton is positioned well in Nevada due to high Hispanic turnout and outgoing senate minority leader Harry Reid’s get-out-the-vote organization.

But Florida and North Carolina appear to be up for grabs, although two Democratic-leaning counties in South Florida saw record turnout on Sunday.

“The key is Florida and North Carolina,” said Mercer University elections expert and professor John Christopher Grant. “If she (Clinton) wins both, she has it in the bag. If she loses both I think she loses the election.”

Another FBI bombshell was announced less than two days before the election, although the latest announcement from FBI director James Comey is good news for Hillary Clinton.

“Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with regard to Secretary Clinton.” Comey said.

In July, the FBI recommended not to prosecute Clinton.

“We have seen Director Comey's latest letter to the Hill,” said Clinton spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri in a statement. “We are glad to see that he has found, as we were confident that he would, that he has confirmed the conclusion that he reached in July, and we're glad that this matter is resolved.”

But the email comes too late for the nearly 42 million Americans who already cast a ballot for president. A few states wrap up early voting on Monday but the key states of North Carolina and Florida finished over the weekend.

The numbers in both states give hope to Trump and Clinton. If Hispanics are uniformly for Clinton, their high turnout could offset gains among white voters and African-Americans that choose to stay home. But Trump is within striking distance in both states.

They may not be his base, but Trump does have his support among college-educated women.

Here’s a handy tool where you can find your polling place for Election Day. Keep in mind that lines could be longest at the beginning and end of the day when people are commuting.

The polls open nationally tomorrow. Let’s get started.

The FBI email bombshell that wasn’t

Ten days ago, the FBI announced it was looking into a cache of emails that could have been connected to Clinton’s private server through her aide Huma Abedin.

On Sunday, the FBI put speculation that Clinton could be in trouble over the new information to rest, stating “we have not changed our conclusions” from July when it recommended against charges for Clinton.

Trump supporters argued the FBI did not take enough time to review the emails, even if they were duplicates.

Katie Packer, who served as Mitt Romney’s deputy campaign manager for his 2012 presidential run, said Comey’s letter Sunday reinforced how wrong it was for him to send his initial letter to Congress.

She said the FBI director’s new letter will help blunt whatever momentum Trump’s campaign gained from his initial letter.

“Whatever momentum he has will be blunted in the next 48 hours,” said Packer, a Republican who strongly opposes Trump. “It’s not too late to have some impact on this election.”

Early voting wraps up

In 37 states, voters had the opportunity to cast their ballot early and most finished up voting over the weekend. A few, notably Iowa, also allow early votes the day before Election Day.

Nearly 42 million people cast a ballot around the country, and in some states a majority of the electorate votes days before Election Day.

Hispanic turnout is up in Nevada and Florida, which could be good news for Clinton, but the trends are looking up for Trump in Ohio and Iowa.

“If we look back four years and eight years ago Obama was really strong on early voting,” Mercer University professor and elections expert John Christopher Grant said. “I don’t know how well the Clinton campaign has done that.”

Two states Trump is trying to flip to increase his path to victory, Pennsylvania and Michigan, do not have early voting. Everyone who does not vote absentee will vote on Election Day.

Some college-educated women support Trump

At a recent rally, some female Trump supporters hit it out at the perception of their candidate solely attracting uneducated white men.

“People definitely judge me more harshly,” said Erika Jackson, a 22-year-old recent graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia. “Isn’t the whole point that women can speak our own minds? Why is it only ok if it’s liberal, or if we support Hillary?”

Polls show Trump is losing educated white women to Clinton by 27 percentage points, a group Romney won with 52 percent of the vote in 2012.

“The legacy of having a woman president doesn’t need to be Hillary Clinton,” said Amanda Rider, an 19-year-old student from Harrisburg, Pa., interviewed at a Trump rally Friday in Hershey, Pa. “If I’m sexist because I don’t vote for you because you’re a woman, then fine, I’m sexist.”

Links of note

Evan McMullin won't tell you about his mystery VP. But we will. (McClatchy)

Bernie supporter takes stage at Clinton rally, ends up trashing her (McClatchy)

Tim Kaine’s Spanish rally in Phoenix didn’t help Clinton’s numbers in Arizona (McClatchy)

Have a question about the candidates, the campaign, the process, the election itself? Ask us here.

Alex Daugherty: 202-383-6049, @alextdaugherty

William Douglas contributed to this report

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